Antique Radio Classified
A.R.C.--The National Publication For Buyers And Sellers
Of Old Radios And Related Items--Published Monthly

Estes Auctions -- Lou Lindauer Collection
Burbank, Ohio May 27, 2006


Web Edition

After the spectacular auction of the Dexter Deely collection in April, one might have expected a lull in radio auction activity, but such was not the case, as the Richard Estes May auction again offered more wonderful and rare radio artifacts. The April auction had brought in well over $200,000, and this May auction was no slouch at over $150,000.

The bottom line is not everything though, and there was something for everyone at this sale held on Memorial Day weekend. Friday was rainy (they do seem to get a lot of rain in this part of Ohio), but Saturday was fine. Many buyers turned up as the parking lot was completely filled, and I noted about 100 bidding cards issued. This was also unusual since there were two good competing auctions on this day, one in Virginia and one in Maryland. As always, there was Friday evening viewing and also Saturday morning inspection from 8 a.m. until the start of auction at 10 a.m.

Early wireless sets from Wireless Specialty
Early wireless sets from Wireless Specialty: from left to right, an IP-501A with tubes selling at $12,000, an IP-501 at $3,750, and an SE-143 receiver at $3,500.


With a few additions, this auction centered on the Lou Lindauer collection from Delaware, and it should be noted that, with a few exceptions, most items were in remarkably good condition. Included were many old movie projectors and related photographic items, as well as some early patent models. I recorded the photographic items but opted out on the patent models.

There was a fair amount of paper, as well as books, but they were sold "choice" so I could not tabulate them. A number of phonograph items were sprinkled in.

For the radio collectors it was a field day with over 40 crystal sets, another great batch of Grebes and Kennedys, three Atwater Kent breadboards, a few DeForests, a really nice selection of cathedrals, many nice battery sets, a sea of horn speakers, and then those IP and SE early wireless items, and much more. Tubes were also plentiful with 93 lots of tubes being sold, not counting bulk lots sold later in the auction. If one needed to stock up on early battery and/or collector tubes, this was the place to come.

A few special items of note: first, an especially nice 6-tube, 3-dialer home brew in a glass case. This was one of the finest I have seen with a large wood base that may have been made to hold batteries. The coils in the set were by Clearfield, but otherwise, the radio was pure home-brew. It sold for $2,050. Next was a Lyradion Series B, 175 to 620 meters battery radio. The claim was that only two were known to exist. Whether this is true or not, the set was in fine condition and sold for $2,500. Finally, there was a shortwave tuner made by Johnson & Phillips, Ltd., of London. While it was dated 1929, it looked much earlier with lots of nice brass on the panel. An interesting and uncommon set with accompanying paper, it sold for $1,000.


An RCA Triode B 2-stage amplifier, left, and a Wireless Specialty SE-143 amplifier, right. These early units sold for $1,300 and $1,900 respectively.

eleven Grebe sets
A total of eleven Grebe sets sold in the price range of $250 to $2,000.


An interesting note about this last item was that Richard opened the bidding at $1,000, and it immediately sold on that one bid. While I assume that the buyer is happy and probably felt that he got a good buy, this is often not the best buying strategy at an auction. Usually, if Richard did not get a response to the opening bid, he would progressively reduce the asking bid price until someone, usually several bidders at once, made an opening bid. Then competitive bidding would begin. With this plan, the final sale price might have gone above $1,000, but it also might have ended up much lower. It certainly is unusual to have such an item sell on only one bid.

an unusual shortwave tuner
From across the pond, an unusual shortwave tuner by Johnson & Phillips, Ltd., with lots of brass switch contacts, binding posts, and knife switches. It sold for $1,000.


As for the wireless items, an SE-143 receiver brought $3,500, and its accompanying SE 143 2-step amp netted $1,300. An IP-501 sold for $3,750, but an IP-501A ended up at $12,000. I should also not forget to mention the thirteen great Western Electric pieces offered. If you needed to fill a gap in your Western Electric collection, you probably could have done so here.

Another interesting note is that the bidding crowd seemed to hang in longer than usual, well into the middle of the afternoon. As a rule the crowd starts thinning out early in the afternoon. Obviously, there was extended interest in this sale. I recorded 513 lots but missed most of the paper items and stopped recording at 3:45 p.m. when there were still about 200 lots to go. Most were low value or bulk items, and there was nothing of interest to me so I took the opportunity to leave early. Nonetheless, my listing totaled $149,837, which certainly must have been quite a bit higher considering the lots that I missed. As usual all prices do not include the 5 percent buyer's premium charged at this site.


This Sampson superhet, identified as a Model W.V.B., sold for $400.


This was a pleasant day as usual. I picked up a few pieces for myself (none of the high flyers) and was able to gaze upon, twiddle with the knobs, open the lids and poke into some of the precious treasures of radio collecting even if I could not own them myself. I will always have my photos to remember them.

A Sodion DR-6 receiver and a D-11-1 amplifier
A Sodion DR-6 receiver and a D-11-1 amplifier sold for $1,500. The receiver had no tube.


e=excellent, vg=very good, g=good, f=fair, p=poor, unk=unknown condition, N.O.S.=new old stock, wk=working, nwk=not working, WT=with tubes, NT=no tubes, BB=brass-based, gf=good fil, TT=tipped tube, SW=shortwave, PS=power supply, PB=push buttons, WE=Western Electric. All prices have been rounded down to the dollar. Some low cost items and items in poor condition or non-specific descriptions are omitted. See print version of A.R.C. for complete auction listing.

(Ray Chase, 1350 Marlborough Ave., Plainfield, NJ 07060; Estes Auctions, 7404 Ryan Rd., Medina, OH 44256; (888) 769-4992;

Ray Chase has been a radio enthusiast and a collector of many types of radios for years. Currently, he specializes in World War II electronics equipment, as well as early battery superheterodynes. He also has an extensive collection of radio documentation and ephemera.

A warning: Auction prices are not current values. Our selection of auction items is not necessarily complete. A listing such as this cannot adequately include the condition of cabinets, chassis, transformers, tubes, the operating status of the set, and the inclusion of incorrect, restored or replica components, etc. Auction prices are the result of the excitement of the auction process, the skill of the auctioneer and the specific interests of the participants. Nevertheless, auction prices serve as useful references and as another element in the value determining process. The possibility of error always exists, and if we are notified, corrections will be reported.

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